Analysis of Global Wood Pellets Market
In recent years, large-scale wood pellet plants and small-scale wood pellet plants production facilities have boomed all over the world, especially in Europe and Northern America. The wood pellet market is achieving a prosperity and magnificence unprecedented prospect.
Wood pellets in EU market
Europe takes a leading role in promoting biomass pellets market.
According to the 2011 reports on European Wood Pellet Market, there are approximately 670 pellet plants with its total pellets production capacity of more than 10 million tons per year among 27 members and whole consumption of 9.8 million metric tons of wood pellets, and about 480 large pellet plants making the continent the largest producer in the world.
In terms of wood pellets production, Sweden and Germany were the largest pellet producers in Europe, both producing about 1.5 million metric tons. Italy, Europe's third largest pellets producer with 0.77 million tons per year, has a lot of integrated pellet plants. Followed leading EU pellet producing countries are Austria.
Increasing production capacities can also be found in France, Spain, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. Russia has significantly increased its production capacities from 2005 to 2011, with its biggest wood pellet plant in Europe is in Leningrad Region, Russia, where could produce 900,000 ton/year biomass pellets, nearly all of which for export.
In light of wood pellets consumption, Sweden, Germany and Austria have the lead wood pellets consumption in Europe, closely followed by France. Since Sweden is the leading pellets production in Europe, it might not be surprising that Sweden is also the largest consumer of wood pellets at about 2 million tons per year, similarly, with Germany shows a consumption of wood pellets nearly 1 million tons. Italy has become one of the most important pellet consumers due to the increasing number of installed pellet stoves.
On aspect of wood pellets export and import, German, Austria, Russia and Latvia are the first largest four pellets export countries in EU. However, the EU-27 countries' total consumption of pellets can not meet its own demand by existing plants; therefore, they need to import large high quality pellets from outside EU. While large pellet importers are Denmark, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands imported nearly 3 million tons so as to meet their domestic demands. Also Italy, presented imports of around 200,000 tons per year.
Wood pellet market in North America
After Europe, North America has the largest pellet production capacity, which grew from 1.1 million tons in 2003 to nearly 7 million in 2011.
In the USA, there are about 150 pellet plants with the largest production capacity of 750,000 ton/year, whereas the smallest capacity of 10,000 ton/year. In the United States, the 2011 total production capacity was 5.481 million tons. It is estimated only about 20% of the whole pellets export to Europe. While about 80% of pellets are consumed domestically for residential heating.
In Canada, although there was no dramatic increase in plant number, no more than 40 plants but their production capacity has been constantly increasing. In 2011, the total production capacity was 2.958 million tons. Being the prime example, Canada largely depends on export opportunities. Different from the USA, 80% Canadian pellets are transported as bulk and shipped overseas for power production in Europe.
Biomass pellet market state in other world regions
By contrast, it appears that the wood pellet industry has not been active in Africa, Asian and its surrounding areas except China.
Initially, China was the leading manufacturer of wood pellet production line and feed pellet production line in the world. Being one of the main wood pellets and pellet mill processing countries, China has a total number of more than 20 plants with whole production capacity of 792,000 ton/year.
In other Africa and South East Asian countries, also with its surrounding area, take Japan as an example, wood pellet plant is quite small with most plants production capacity no more than 2,000 ton/year when compared to other main wood pellets producing countries. The reasons in different countries are inconsistent. Such as limited recourse, unformed wood pellet markets, inadequate dissemination of bio-energy information, etc. which all result in biomass projects can not be fully developed. Consequently by 2010, pellets plants in Japan are 75 with total production capacity only about 101,000 ton/year.
In conclusion, wood pellets, or biomass pellets, coming roaring onto the international market in recent decade years, are highly recognized by more and more countries around the world. Europe and North America have made a big step in both pellets production and consumption as important contribution to energy conservation.